Angry Birds should really be called Murdered Pigs

Yesterday, I played Angry Birds for the very first time. It was bound to happen. You can only avoid these things for so long; it’s kind of like how everyone eventually joins a social media site, no matter how vocal they are about hating those sorts of things; granted, every website these days integrates some kind of social media element in it, and then you’re there, stuck, updating your status, liking posts, and adding “friends” you’d never consider friends if you bumped into them while out shopping for books or something. Um…yeah. What was I saying? Oh, right: ill-tempered fowl.

While it’s been pretty easy to ignore almost all games on Facebook thanks to some settings tinkering and the fact that I really don’t hang out there as much as before, a host of new clickfest titles debuted this week at Google+, a website that I originally called “like Facebook, but without the games.” Guess I can’t say that anymore. What is nice though is that the games section is totally separate from the main feed of the site, so I don’t have to see how many points Joe Hoeblow got on level 9-154 of Murdered Pigs as I’m trying to see what people are really up to. That said, don’t you want to be my friend on Google+?

For those that don’t know, Angry Birds is a physics-based game of tossing birds via slingshots at rather innocent-looking pigs, trying to kill them all. I think there’s a storyline here. Something about the pigs stealing these birds’ eggs, which doesn’t really make sense when you consider that pigs don’t often climb trees. You toss the birds and gain points for how effectively you murder these pigs, as well as how few birds it takes to do so. I played up to 1-15 of Poached Eggs, the first episode, without a hitch, just sort of floating along. At 1-15, a new type of bird is introduced: a tiny blue bird which, when clicked again while in mid-air, splits into three birds. Very cool. Sadly, the game itself neglected to tell me this. I guess it did try with an unclear image while waiting for the level to load, but nothing ever specifically stated that these birds had a secret power, one vital to solving the upcoming level. I only learned this key strategy skill by accident after trying to beat 1-15 for the nineteenth time.

At no point did I ever get the sense that these birds are angry. If anything, they seem cracked out of their tiny  bird brains, shrilling in glee as they are hurled at stone walls and piles of wood, tossed to their death so systematically. All for the murdering of pigs, purported to have stolen eggs. A pig steals, a pig dies. What? I mean, things weren’t even this harsh in 16th century medieval times. Severe cases of theft back then could be punishable by flogging or the cutting off of one or both ears or a hand. And yeah, death by hanging. But surely that’s better than death by bird to the face.

It’s an okay little game. I just don’t get the logic of it all, but that’s the writer in me. Pigs and birds have no famous (or infamous) connection in nature. Might as well toss pineapples at polar bears. I’ll probably continue to play here and there as I find a moment of gaming emptiness, but I can’t really imagine myself going the distance here and seeing all 250+ levels to the end. That kind of grind is for the birds…

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